iCar Asia Limited (‘iCar Asia’ or the ‘Company’), ASEAN’s number 1 network of automotive portals, releases its full-year Financial Report for the year 2018 with a 27% increase in revenue year-on-year to USD11.6 million. In line with this, cash receipts also showed a strong 46% year-on-year growth versus 2017.
“2018 has been an exciting year for iCar Asia and we have laid down a solid foundation in our businesses to fuel further growth in 2019. We are extremely proud of both our Malaysian and Thailand businesses becoming EBITDA and cashflow positive as per our guidance in 2018. This is further evidence to shows that the Group is well positioned to achieve EBITDA breakeven by the end of 2019,” says Hamish Stone, CEO of iCar Asia.
Key financial milestones achieved
In 2018, two out of three countries that iCar operated in achieved the significant financial milestones by turning profitable. Malaysia was the first business to become EBITDA and cashflow positive in September 2018 and maintained this performance in the fourth quarter of 2018 to have its first full quarter of profitability. It was soon followed by Thailand, which become EBITDA and cashflow positive in December 2018. With the achievement of this milestone in these 2 countries and coupled with the improvement in financial performance for Indonesia, iCar Asia remains on track to be EBITDA breakeven by the end of 2019.
As at 31 December 2018, the Company had USD9.5 million in cash and cash equivalents. Whilst the group has conditional access to additional funds of up to USD16.5 million consisting of a USD5 million debt facility and proceeds of share options of USD11.5 million, which will be contingent on the prevailing share price increasing above the USD0.20 exercise price of the options on or before the option expiry date, the company is not factoring these additional funds into its current capital plans.
Outstanding operational metrics
The strong growth in revenue and cash receipt was underpinned by strong sets of operational metrics where:
- Audience grew by 34% to nearly 12 million unique visitors per month.
- The number of leads generated to increase 12% year-on-year.
Malaysia – Profitable since September 2018
The Malaysia business achieved an important financial milestone in 2018 by becoming EBITDA and cashflow positive in September 2018 and then delivering its first full quarter of positive EBITDA and cashflow in Q4. As a result the full year EBITDA loss substantially decreased by 77% versus 2017 to USD0.31 million. This was achieved on the back of strong growth in revenue that increased 17% year-on-year to USD5.34 million.
Average monthly audience grew 49% year-on-year in 2018 driving leads growth of 41% as car buyers continued to move online. These strong operational metrics will further fuel future growth across all business units in Malaysia in 2019.
Thailand – Profitable since December 2018
Similar to the Malaysia business, the Thailand business became EBITDA and cashflow positive in December 2018. EBITDA loss for the full year substantially reduced by 50% versus 2017 to USD0.57 million. Revenue for the year increased to USD5.07 million, representing a strong 33% year-on-year growth.
Indonesia – Taking next steps on its growth path
The Indonesian business had a transformative year as it moved further through its monetisation strategy with strong growth in the number of dealers paying for advertising products on the site with the introduction of listing fee subscriptions in September 2018. This helped to continue the strong growth trend in revenue which increased 58% versus 2017 to USD1.15 million as the Company moved further through its monetisation strategy. 2018 EBITDA loss was reduced by 11% versus 2017 to USD3.40 million with over 100% of the increase in revenue flowing through to the EBITDA loss reduction as cost were marginally reduced.
Average monthly audience and lead volumes grew strongly by 32% and 16% year-on-year in 2018 respectively. This helped deliver further growth in the number of dealers paying in month to promote their listings, which is up 11% compared to the prior year.